Why is it so hard to find affordable art?
It's not that it doesn't exist...
I have seen countless independent artist platforms come and go, ones that curate their selections, ones that don’t, but very few seem to be satisfactory to both artists and collectors.
What makes the art world so wonderful — that there isn’t one giant corporation dominating the industry — is one of the things that makes it so impossible for both the producers and consumers. When there are thousands of people making art in the privacy of their studios, connecting them to buyers is no small task.
Less Than Half is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
My solution, therefore, doesn’t lie in creating that one stop shop (as I think it would destroy that magical decentralized market), but rather is in changing the consumer’s behavior, to be able to recognize art buying opportunities.
The first step is to overcome the roadblocks many assume are simply truths about the art world: that art is prohibitively expensive, esoteric and inaccessible, or just plain impossible to buy due to gallery gatekeepers judging you for not being chic or well connected enough.
What many think of as truths, I know to be myths.
Prints and drawings at the Hammer Museum in LA
So how do you find affordable art? Here are just a few of my tips:
Instagram — Not only is this a great way to discover artists without gallery representation (who you can DM and ask if they have anything for sale), artists sometimes sell work via their stories (yes, I have bought many things this way), so pay attention!
Local auction houses — Christie’s and Sotheby’s aren’t the only auction houses! Search your city + “auction house” to find a local auction house (with pick up because shipping is $$!), where bargains can be found.
Ask for the flat files — Ask a gallerist to see works on paper by an artist if you’re looking for a lower price point. Galleries often have plenty of drawings, collages, sketches, watercolors, etc. by the artists they represent for sale “in the back”, so ask to see them!
For more advice, be sure to check out my video that dives a little deeper into my tips and tricks.
Sign up to my email list here to get the link to the vid as well as my insights in PDF form.
What are your best tips and tricks for finding affordable art? Leave a comment below!